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ERIC Number: ED401282
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Comparison of Knowledge Structures with the Pathfinder Scaling Algorithm.
McGaghie, William C.
The cognitive structure of 13 concepts in pulmonary physiology was explored among 112 first-year medical students and among 32 faculty members in three different expertise groups in a knowledge representation study. Purposes were to assess the degree of agreement among faculty members, map students' concept structures, and compare the similarity of student concepts with those of instructors. It was hypothesized that, as a consequence of instruction, students' concept networks would approximate the structure of concept networks produced by faculty experts. The Pathfinder scaling algorithm was used to map and compare student and faculty concept structures. Pathfinder uses pairwise judgments of similarity between a set of concepts to produce a network or graph and to focus on the local relationships among concepts, in contrast to multidimensional scaling, which seems to capture more global information about the concept space. Data show that the ways in which medical experts conceptually organized the concepts were not necessarily consistent. Similarity ratings for the three expert groups (internists, anesthesiologists, and physiologists) were modest, and comparisons between groups were weaker than comparisons within groups. Data do support the hypothesis that students' Pathfinder networks would begin to approximate the structure of the concept networks produced by faculty as a consequence of instruction, although the choice of which faculty network is best remains uncertain. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, and 19 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A